I blame the E30 BMW M3. Ever since that one E30 M3 sold for more money than the average American home, prices of classic BMWs have begun skyrocketing. So now if you want a cool old BMW, you’re going to have to shell out brand-new BMW M4 money at the very least and Porsche 911 GT3 money isn’t out of the question. Most recently, a 2002 BMW Z3 M Coupe just sold for $74,500 on Bring-A-Trailer.

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While this specific Z3 M Coupe is a very clean, very low-mileage example, having done just 33,000 miles in its 18-year life, it’s also not original. It’s had an exhaust upgrade, an HID headlight upgrade and new three-piece BBS wheels fitted to it. Sure, those are all cool mods and probably make the driving experience even better but the lack of originality should, you’d think, decrease the value a bit. Apparently, not so, as this car just sold for brand-new M4 money.

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Admittedly, this is a very cool example. It’s one of just sixteen to be painted in Laguna Seca Blue with a two-tone Laguna Seca Blue/Black interior color scheme to be brought to the US market. So it’s a very special car that should provide years of joy for its new owner.

Powering the BMW Z3 M Coupe is the same S54 engine that powered the E46 BMW M3. So it’s a naturally-aspirated 3.2 liter inline-six with around 333 horsepower (who knows what it has now after many years and some modification). That engine is paired with a five-speed manual and sends power to just the rear wheels. That powertrain/drivetrain combination is a car with an incredibly short wheelbase is a recipe for a great time. It also probably sounds incredible with a Supersprint Magnum exhaust.

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While you can get the new BMW M4 with the same money that someone just spent on this BMW Z3 M Coupe, the latter will be the more fun car to drive. It’s also rarer, more collectible and comes in one of the very best color BMW has ever made.

[Source: Bring-A-Trailer]